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Jewish Journal

Ryan Torok

  • Moving and shaking: Combating hate, Friendship Circle and more

    22 hours ago

    The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) honored three individuals and two law enforcement groups at its annual Helene & Joseph Sherwood Prize for Combating Hate luncheon and award ceremony March 10 at the Skirball Cultural Center.

    Selected for individual honors for their efforts to...

  • LGBT Persian Jews live in changing times

    22 hours ago

    Although attitudes are becoming increasingly accepting toward homosexuality in the Jewish community, prejudices remain in the typically more conservative Persian community. To help bridge the gap, JQ International — a nonprofit, Los Angeles-based organization dedicated to...

  • What is SEDER2015?

    2 days ago

    Passover is the most family-oriented of the Jewish holidays, the ultimate dinner party, the Thanksgiving of the Jewish community. 

    That is the belief, anyway, of Michael Hebb, creator of Seder2015, an interactive smorgasbord of Passover-related audio clips of famous thinkers...

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  • Moving and shaking: USHMM’s annual Los Angeles dinner, Sally Drucker turns 100 and more

    1 week ago

    Commemorating the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s (USHMM) annual Los Angeles dinner was themed “What You Do Matters.” 

    Actor Gary Sinese honored the liberators and survivors present at the March 16...

  • Moving and shaking: Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters, AFKMC and more

    2 weeks ago

    Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles (JBBBSLA) celebrated its centennial and the renaming of its nonsectarian Camp Max Straus during a Feb. 21 event at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza hotel that drew more than 700 attendees and raised $760,000 for the mentoring...

  • Moving and shaking: The Dead Sea Scrolls, JQ International, JIMENA and more

    2 weeks ago

    “Dead Sea Scrolls: The Exhibition” represents not only “the birth of modern Judaism but also of Christianity … and later, Islam. … So we’re really celebrating the Abrahamic traditions and monotheistic religions,” explained David Siegel, the consul general of Israel in Los Angeles,...

  • A plethora of Purim parties

    2 weeks ago

    Never in a million years did I think I’d be spending Purim pedaling away on a stationary bicycle, dressed as Indiana Jones, in order to power a DJ playing “Bubble Butt” by Major Lazer.

    But that’s what I did recently at IKAR. 

    There were parties all over town last week as the...

  • Food: The great uniter

    2 weeks ago

    Several Muslim and Jewish students are working with UC San Diego leadership toward opening a dining hall that offers kosher and halal hot food options. 

    In so doing, the school will become the first campus in the University of California system to have this kind of a dining hall,...

  • People come together for MLK-inspired Big Sunday video

    3 weeks ago

    In honor of 2015 Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Big Sunday held a community service project on Jan. 19. One day prior, on Jan. 18, Temple Israel of Hollywood, a partner of Big Sunday, held a musical concert event at its Hollywood campus marking 50 years since King delivered a sermon there.

    Big Sunday just released a video, entitled, “Something in Common,” that captures how those two days brought people of all backgrounds together.

    Check it out.

  • Moving and shaking: Times of Israel gala, Nostre Aetate anniversary and ROSIES

    February 26, 2015 | 2:34 pm

    American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (AABGU) has launched the Max Steinberg Memorial Scholarship Endowment Fund in memory of the lone soldier from Woodland Hills who was killed last summer during Israel’s war in Gaza.

    Lone soldiers are members of the Israel...

  • Raising financially sensible kids

    February 25, 2015 | 3:16 pm

    Spoiled children are made, not born — and there’s something you can do about that. 

    That’s the message of New York Times “Your Money” columnist Ron Lieber’s new book, “The Opposite of Spoiled: Raising Kids Who are Grounded, Generous and Smart about Money.” The 43-year-old’s...

  • Bridging two cultures within one community

    February 25, 2015 | 2:53 pm

    A recent discussion at Sinai Temple called “Inside the Persian Jewish Community” examined the community’s internal as well as external forces, as talk turned to the stereotypes and tensions that sometimes develop with local Ashkenazi Jews. 

    “Persians feel so judged by the...

  • Seder2015 hopes to bring millennials to the Passover table

    February 23, 2015 | 12:07 pm

    Millennials, what are you doing this Passover? If you’re not sure, perhaps look to Seder2015.

    Seder 2015 is the latest brainchild of Michael Hebb, 39, a self-described “food provacteur” who last grabbed national attention for launching “Death Over Dinner,” a movement that brought...

  • Moving and shaking: Shimon Peres, Father Patrick Desbois and more

    February 19, 2015 | 12:39 pm

    The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles’ Feb. 11 King David Society gala at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel featured Shimon Peres, Israel’s former longtime president and two-time prime minister. He appeared in conversation with Sharon Nazarian, an adjunct professor for political...

  • Shimon Peres offers a taste of history, positivity

    February 18, 2015 | 3:42 pm

    Shimon Peres, Israel’s former longtime president and two-time prime minister, appeared at a gala for top funders of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles Feb. 11 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. In an onstage conversation with Federation board member Sharon Nazarian, Peres was...

  • Shimon Peres: A taste of history, thoughts on staying positive

    February 12, 2015 | 4:48 pm

    Shimon Peres, Israel’s former longtime president and two-time prime minister, appeared at a gala for top funders of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles on Feb. 11 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. In an onstage conversation with Sharon Nazarian, Peres did not talk about...

  • Moving and shaking: Live painting, Limmud, LAMOTH and more

    February 12, 2015 | 11:44 am

    Cheder Menachem held a Feb. 3 banquet in honor of its donors at Neman Hall in West Hollywood.

    The evening for the all-boys Orthodox school, which serves students from pre-kindergarten-eighth grade, celebrated the approximately $1 million raised in 2014, according to Rabbi Mendel...

  • Fraternity conclave focuses on hate crimes, security

    February 11, 2015 | 1:50 pm

    A security consultant working for the primarily Jewish college fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi) — the target of numerous hate crimes across the country, most recently at UC Davis, where members awoke Jan. 31 to find two swastikas spray painted on their house — was among those who...

  • Moving and shaking: Sinai Akiba Academy, JFS Family Violence Project, Hillel 818 and more

    February 5, 2015 | 12:51 pm

    Sinai Akiba Academy in Westwood honored longtime faculty member Rivka Shaked, as well as Luiza and Andrei Iancu, alumni parents who have held various leadership positions over the years, during its annual event and auction Jan. 24.

    Honoree Rivka Shaked and Rabbi David Wolpe of...

  • UC Davis Community, ADL respond to hate-crime graffiti

    February 4, 2015 | 1:59 pm

    The UC Davis chapter of Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi) is reeling from a hate crime involving two red swastikas spray painted on its fraternity house, according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

    AEPi members woke up on the morning of Jan. 31 and discovered the swastikas on a wall of...

  • LAMOTH remembers 70th anniversary of Auschwitz liberation

    February 4, 2015 | 1:45 pm

    It’s been 70 years since the liberation of Auschwitz, but it’s essential to remember that the horrors of anti-Semitism live on, according to Consul General of Israel in Los Angeles David Siegel.

    “This is not ancient history; it is right now,” Siegel said during a Jan. 27 speech....

  • Moving and shaking: Bet Tzedek, Beit T’Shuvah and Forbes

    January 29, 2015 | 3:01 pm

    Halfway through Bet Tzedek’s annual dinner gala at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza hotel on Jan. 22, Jessie Kornberg, the brand-new president and CEO of the nonprofit legal-aid organization, stepped onto the stage. As she approached the microphone, one member of Bet Tzedek’s new...

  • Funding for survivor services sees a big jump in 2015

    January 29, 2015 | 2:47 pm

    The Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany — also known as the Claims Conference — is providing a $10.1 million increase in funding this year to California-based Holocaust survivors, according to a Claims Conference’s December press release. The money will fund home...

  • LAMOTH remembers 70th anniversary of liberation of Auschwitz

    January 28, 2015 | 5:45 pm

    It’s been 70 years since the liberation of Auschwitz, but it’s essential to remember that the horrors of anti-Semitism live on, according to Consul General of Israel in Los Angeles David Siegel.

    “This is not ancient history; it is right now,” Siegel said during a Jan. 27 speech....

  • Moving and shaking: Celebrating MLK Jr., Avraham Fried concert at the Saban Theatre and more

    January 22, 2015 | 2:06 pm

    The Temple Israel of Hollywood (TIOH) sanctuary was overflowing, every one of the 1,000 seats downstairs and in the balcony filled on Jan. 18 with congregants, friends and guests from Los Angeles churches and other community groups. They came to celebrate the life and legacy of the...

  • J Street, StandWithUs debate best way to support Israel

    January 22, 2015 | 12:13 pm

    Representatives of StandWithUs (SWU) and J Street — two Jewish organizations with very different takes on Israel — faced off Jan. 13 in a debate on why their respective group is a better friend to the Jewish state.

    The free event, at Temple Judea in Tarzana, featured attorney,...

  • Israeli Foreign Ministry investigating consulate in L.A.

    January 14, 2015 | 3:27 pm

    The Inspector General of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs is investigating an employee matter at the Consulate General of Israel in Los Angeles, although officials will not confirm the nature of the inquiry. 

    Emmanuel Nahshon, spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry,...

  • Moving and shaking: Rabbi Cantor Hillary Chorny, BJE and more

    January 14, 2015 | 3:00 pm

    Temple Beth Am held an installation ceremony for Rabbi Cantor Hillary Chorny and recognized Associate Rabbi Ari Lucas on Dec. 13.

    Chorny, who was raised in San Diego, joined the staff at the La Cienega Boulevard Conservative congregation as cantor in August. She is a graduate of...

  • Rabbi Mark Diamond resigns as L.A. AJC leader

    January 9, 2015 | 4:20 pm

    Rabbi Mark Diamond, the executive director of the American Jewish Committee Los Angeles (AJCLA), announced Jan. 9 that he will step down at the end of February as AJCLA’s top professional. Diamond said he plans to “pursue other professional and personal opportunities.”

    “I write...

  • Moving and shaking: Joseph Lieberman honored, Shalom Institute gala and 3G at LAMOTH

    January 8, 2015 | 11:28 am

    Former U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman was the honored guest at the Jan. 4 panel discussion “Setting Educational Policy for the 21st Century” at Young Israel of North Beverly Hills. Organized by Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy and moderated by Museum of Tolerance Director Liebe Geft, the...

  • Esther Lowy, Dean of Touro College L.A., 66

    January 7, 2015 | 10:47 am

    Esther Lowy, founding dean of Touro College Los Angeles, died Dec. 19 at the age of 66, of cancer, according to her husband, Rudolph. 

    Touro College is based in New York and caters to Orthodox individuals who might otherwise be uncomfortable with the secular aspects of college...

  • Drake to headline Coachella

    January 6, 2015 | 11:28 am

    Coachella, one of the summer's largest and most prolific music festivals, confirmed Drake as a headliner of this year's installment.

    The Jewish rapper performs on April 12 and April 19.

    Every year, music fans anxiously await the announcement of which bands and artists will...

  • Shmulie Hauptman: Hatzolah leader brings first aid to Jewish community — and beyond

    January 6, 2015 | 10:00 am

    On a rainy weekday in December, Shmulie Hauptman wore a reflective Hatzolah of Los Angeles jacket. A two-way radio was clipped to his belt. His car, a Lexus hybrid, was parked outside the Starbucks at Pico and Robertson, where he met with the Journal. Inside the car were a spare...
  • Dave Bullock: Bringing cameras to Skid Row residents

    January 6, 2015 | 9:57 am

    Dave Bullock is a co-founder of the Skid Row Photography Club, which provides digital cameras to Los Angeles’ Skid Row residents — the club’s members — and through their pictures allows outsiders like himself a chance to see their lives in another light. Bullock raises the funds to...
  • Moving and shaking: FIDF, AJC and more

    December 30, 2014 | 2:25 pm

    More than 15 Los Angeles residents returned home on Nov. 21 after participating in a weeklong, sold-out national leadership mission to Israel organized by the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF). The mission brought together 160 FIDF members from 58 American cities,...

  • Guilford Glazer, leading Los Angeles philanthropist, dies at 93

    December 24, 2014 | 2:40 pm

    Guilford Glazer, a strong supporter of Israel, leading Los Angeles philanthropist and real estate developer, died in his Beverly Hills home on Dec. 23, 2014, at 93. 
     
    Glazer was well known for his support of Israeli universities, including Tel Aviv University (TAU) and...
  • Moving and shaking: StandWithUs, Chanukah in Los Angeles and Rabbi Yoshi Zweiback

    December 17, 2014 | 3:53 pm

    Stephen Wise Temple has named Rabbi Yoshi Zweiback as its next senior rabbi.

    The senior rabbi-elect, who is currently the head of Wise School, the synagogue’s day school for kindergarten through sixth grade and early childhood center, succeeds Rabbi Eli Herscher, according to a...

  • Freed prisoner Alan Gross loves Judaism

    December 17, 2014 | 11:13 am

    Alan Gross was freed from a Cuban prison on Wednesday after five years, much of that time in isolation. His release was part of a prisoner exchange deal between Cuba and the United States that President Barack Obama announced marks the start of improved relations between the two...

  • It’s a spicy MatzoBall!

    December 17, 2014 | 10:04 am

    Jewish Angelenos looking for something to do on Christmas Eve need look no further than a singles party that has become a national sensation — the MatzoBall.

    Returning to Los Angeles for the first time in years, the event will take place in Hollywood at the historic Avalon on...

  • Teaching the value of giving in the season of getting

    December 12, 2014 | 11:31 am

    The gift-giving tradition that these days is so strongly connected with Chanukah can be a mixed blessing. Often, preceding the joy of hitting the right note with a gift are days fraught with the pressure to find it. There’s also the question of how much to spend, and what kinds of...
  • Moving and shaking: Characters Unite, MATT construction and more

    December 12, 2014 | 9:17 am

    The Cedars-Sinai Medical Center’s Board of Governors gala on Dec. 2 honored David and Janet Polak, who support numerous Jewish and Israeli causes. The couple received the Cedars-Sinai Philanthropic Leadership Award.
     
    The event at the Beverly Wilshire hotel in Beverly Hills...
  • JWT’s ‘Not That Jewish’ offers the group’s latest fresh, female voice

    December 11, 2014 | 3:51 pm

    “Not That Jewish,” an autobiographical one-woman show with comedian Monica Piper, recalls Billy Crystal’s similarly heartfelt “700 Sundays.” Both are monologue performances by Jewish comics who grew up in show-biz-oriented families in Brooklyn, where weekends were spent at the...

  • California-Israeli companies form stem cell research agreement

    December 5, 2014 | 3:59 pm

    California-Israel partnerships related to stem cell research are on the horizon after an agreement signed Dec. 9 between the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine and Israel’s Center for Research and Development, MATIMOP.

    Israel Consul General in Los Angeles David Siegel...

  • Moving and Shaking: LAMOTH recital, Fiesta Shalom at Sea and Thanksgiving

    December 5, 2014 | 3:26 pm

    The Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust (LAMOTH) inaugural Young Pianist Showcase Recital took place Nov. 23 at the museum.

    The event featured performances by Jacqueline Wax, 17, a senior at Milken Community Schools; Jonah Goldberg, 14, a freshman at Calabasas High School; Adam...

  • Gene Simmons: Rock god turned business tycoon

    December 3, 2014 | 1:56 pm

    Gene Simmons has made a career out of doing a lot with a little. 

    His band, KISS, featured members with little or no formal musical training but went on to become one of the nation’s biggest rock acts. Growing up in Haifa, he sold cactus fruit to workers at a local bus stop to...

  • Moving and shaking: Zimmer Children’s Museum, NCJWLA thrift shops and more

    November 25, 2014 | 2:22 pm

    Local community leaders named to the annual Jewish Daily Forward 50 include Israeli-American Council Chairman Shawn Evenhaim; Rabbi Eliyahu Fink of Pacific Jewish Center in Venice; Congressman Henry Waxman (D-Los Angeles) and Micah Wexler of Wexler’s Deli.

    Steven Sotloff, an...

  • Nope, Justin Bieber did not visit a L.A. rabbi on Wednesday

    November 20, 2014 | 4:48 pm

    Pop star Justin Bieber did not visit with a rabbi at the Westside Jewish Communtiy Center (JCC) yesterday despite media reports to the contrary.

    “He met with no rabbi. He came, enjoyed playing [table tennis], he does stuff here; it’s not the first time he’s come,” Brian Greene,...

  • Moving and shaking: L.A. Sephardic Jewish Film Festival, Beth Chayim Chadashim and more

    November 20, 2014 | 10:55 am

    Israeli Sephardic actor Yehoram Gaon, Los Angeles attorney Ronald J. Nessim, and philanthropic couple Joelle and Jack Rimokh were the honorees at the opening gala of the Los Angeles Sephardic Jewish Film Festival, taking home the Cinema Sepharad Lifetime Achievement Award, the...

  • L.A.’s Jews and Muslims partner in ‘twinning’ events

    November 19, 2014 | 1:17 pm

    When Jews and Muslims came together for a “twinning” event on Nov. 16, the Pico Union Project was filled with jamming, rapping, rhetoric, dancing and more.

    “It’s the only way we will ever find peace — through the arts and dialogue. So this is a really good start,” Genie Benson,...

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